Partnership to focus on Foundation’s Local Economic Governance Project in Sri Lanka
San Francisco, Seoul, and Colombo, March 16, 2012 — The Asia Foundation, the premier non-profit international development organization working in Asia, today announced a US$ 1 million partnership agreement with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). KOICA and the Foundation are development partners committed to delivering effective aid in the Asia-Pacific region, with strategic engagement and cooperation increasing significantly in recent years. The grant agreement will provide $500,000 to the Foundation for its programs to improve the business environment in lagging regions in Sri Lanka while $500,000 will be managed by KOICA to provide direct assistance in the form of technical assistance and study tours to Korea.
Many Asian countries, including Korea, have emerged as important development cooperation actors, bringing their own approaches and innovations to the existing international aid framework. In recent years, a growing number of donors have requested The Asia Foundation’s input in strategic planning and program design related to particularly challenging areas of international development.
This groundbreaking agreement marks the first time KOICA has selected an international non-government organization to undertake programs in another Asian country. KOICA, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), implements grant aid and technical cooperation programs for the Government of the Republic of Korea. It is also one of the first KOICA projects to focus specifically on governance issues.
Increasingly recognized by donors as a strategic, valuable resource, The Asia Foundation strives to contribute its locally-driven, context-specific programming to the successful development experience of Korea and other Asian countries. Through this partnership, the Foundation hopes to share its knowledge and experience in governance programming, drawing on nearly 60 years of experience in Asia.
“We are extremely pleased about this landmark agreement with our longstanding partner, KOICA” said David D. Arnold, president of The Asia Foundation. “As Asia continues to change, and more Asian countries develop their own international aid programs, this agreement represents a significant step in crafting new and effective development partnerships to meet the changing needs of the region. KOICA is making a bold, path-breaking investment in effective governance across a changing Asia, and this agreement has the potential to shape and inform future dialogues among traditional and emerging donors and development partners in the region.”
The Asia Foundation is an active partner in Sri Lanka’s post-war development and has maintained a continuous presence in the country since 1954. The Foundation’s local staff of development specialists, including those on the Local Economic Governance Project, seeks to promote greater citizen participation in policymaking and governance and create an enabling environment for economic development, especially in lagging regions.